Morgen’s Free 100-word competitions is now open for September!

*** PLEASE check your word count (100 words exactly – no more, no less – EXcluding title) and do submit more than one story to give yourself a better chance of being placed. ***

Hello everyone. Yes, August’s competition is closed, with the results due to be announced on (or before) Saturday 15th September. The theme for September is ‘complex’ which you can submit any time until Sunday 30th September (midnight UK time).

And remember, you can send up to three stories per month (individually or at the same time). It’s worth doing because some people have missed out because of errors (usually not 100 words exactly) in the only entry they send so they are immediately disqualified. This happens almost every month. <sigh>

There are lots of rules so please read the 100-word competition page carefully but the two most important are:

  1. Your story must stick to the theme (which varies each month).
  2. Your story must be no longer or no shorter than 100 words. This excludes the title which can be as long or as short as you like. Any stories of less than or greater than 100 words will be disqualified so please check before submitting. Hyphenated words (e.g. well-known) count as one word so 99-word stories because of a hyphenated word will be disqualified. This may sound harsh but it’s then fair on everyone. Also bullet points do not count as words so do not include them in your word count. Neither do ellipses (e.g. ‘and… we’ counts as two words), ages, e.g. ‘a two-year-old child’ also counts as one word (according to Word, which is what I use).
  3. You can send up to three stories per month.
  4. Please don’t submit your story / stories (or a variation of them) elsewhere until the results are announced. I score them as they come in (to longlist them then go through them again when the comp closes) so I don’t want to then be told that you need to withdraw the story because someone else wants it. The most you’d have to wait is six weeks (the competition month plus two weeks max. to the results being announced mid-month).  Thank you.

And the prizes?

Good luck and I look forward to reading your stories.

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The Serial Dater’s first reviews

My latest ‘baby’ is only hours old but already some fabulous reviews. I’ll probably bore you rigid with all my gushing, or rather other people’s mild gushing but it makes a change to talk about my writing…

And on Amazon.co.uk:

“A light-hearted and fun read as we follow Izzy through the month of May and her 31 dates. With the dates as the focal point, we as the reader accompany Izzy as she meets an assortment of men in a range of places. Through her column Izzy then reflects on her dates and her month of dating and develops a ‘shopping list’ of dos and don’ts for online dating – hence the title of the book. Within the context of writing her column we get to meet Izzy’s best work friend – Donna a lively character and her boss William as well as observing the general office dynamics. Written entirely in the first person I enjoyed this book a lot, while I struggled to hold in mind the 31 men as individuals this didn’t matter although there were many funny moments along the way. I particularly enjoyed the newspaper column entries where Izzy reflected on how the date had gone and what she had learnt from the experience. These articles bought to mind Carrie Bradshaw (who I love) and I could almost hear the voice of Sarah Jessica Parker as she ‘couldn’t help to wonder’. Make no mistake though, this isn’t Sex and the City – it’s a great story in it’s own right. Izzy as a character was likeable – as a professional journalist she was strong and confident, she took the task in her stride and although some of the men she met can only be described as fools, she was unaffected by knock backs and refused to let the words or behaviours of some of her dates affect her confidence. I found this stance admirable as she engaged in the task assigned to her in a pragmatic manner, committed to enjoy the experience as well as creating a terrific column for the newspaper. Overall a very enjoyable read – short chapters, generally broken down into sections detailing the date, the office and the article, maintained my engagement as a reader. Despite being a ‘light’ read, Izzy’s reflections carried words of wisdom as did her attitude as a strong female character. Recommended reading by me!”

“Laugh out loud is right. It’s a bit of a while since I was last dating, and this book brought it all screaming back to me. And reminded me not to be so petty with my hubs about him leaving pants on the floor and forgetting to put the bins out. After all, he is pretty perfect, and judging by my past dates, I am lucky to have him (and not be out in the dating pool again!). In the first few chapters, sometimes I felt that there was a bit too much detail in the way of information, that did detract from the story to begin with. As the book went on however, the writing flowed a lot better, and I realised that this was clever and quite intentional. The main character, Izzy is a bit set in her routine, and as single people get, used to living her life her way, and this came across in the pages. Once she got into the flow of dating, and the social aspects both good and bad, I felt that the character loosened up a lot more, and this showed in the writing. The idea of the book is refreshing, and smartly written, and the ending was just beautiful. All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable smart novel that should silence the ‘fluffy read’ critics with a well executed zinger of a line. I would definitely swipe right for this one. The book is out today from Bombshell Books, so if you fancy buying it, or reading more about the author, read on!”

“It took a few pages for the book to get going but once it did, I was hooked. Once you get to the dates themselves, it is very funny and probably has situations that you have found yourself in at some point or another! Worth a read and a good book to take on holiday!”

And on Amazon.com:

“I liked the writing style where each chapter was a different date! Throughout the whole book I was hoping for a certain ending, and it did not disappoint. As someone who has participated in online dating, I felt so much of this book was spot-on to real life, and even though it was just an experiment, you felt Good her frustration and happiness she experienced throughout! I will say that 31 dates seemed like a lot as I was reading – probably because I was anxious to see how it was going to end up for Izzy, Donna, Duncan, and William! A good read!” (I chopped off a bit of a spoiler at the start.)

Morgen’s Monday Mentorship (free!) starts tonight…

Are you stuck on your story, novel, poem or non-fiction piece and want expert help?

From Monday 16th April 2018 (tonight), I will be running a mentorship group on Facebook offering a dedicated two-hour weekly Q&A where you can pick my brains, with the opportunity for group chat the rest of the week.

The group’s at https://www.facebook.com/groups/morgensmondaymentorship. Ask to join and I will add you.

Every Monday* evening (7.30pm to 9.30pm UK time), I will be your mentor for a two-hour live session when you can ask me anything you like about writing! *There will be occasions when I’m unable to be at my desk on a Monday evening, e.g. when I’m booked to do a ‘real’ talk but I will be available the day before or day after (i.e. the Sunday or Tuesday) at the same time, 7.30pm to 9.30pm, unless circumstances (speaking events, holidays etc) prevent me from doing so.

Of course it doesn’t stop you asking questions at other times (by creating a new comment) but it won’t be live so you may have to wait for answers. I will keep an eye on the thread and post at least one reply to each comment before the following Monday.

There’s also the option for private feedback – see Morgen’s Email Critique Group.

The sooner you join, the more mentorship you receive within the group! I do offer one-to-one email mentorship but there is a fee; see the Editing and Critique page.

For one-to-one mentorship, please email me at morgen@morgenbailey.com.

Morgen’s Email Critique Group

Hello. I know that writers, myself included, need – and appreciate – feedback on our work. By that I don’t mean “Oh yes, that’s great” – although that would be good too. We need to be told where we’re going wrong. I am a freelance editor so it’s my day job to do that but I thought I’d start this critique group so that you could also get feedback from other writers.

The idea is that you submit your writing (max. 2,000 words per submission*) – whenever you like – and I will collate them and send them on to others in the group for them to return to me within two weeks, although the sooner the better) so that I can return it to the original author.

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